Worrying They Want To Break Up
A good relationship can make you feel loved, secure, and happy. Its perfectly normal to want to hold on to these feelings and hope nothing happens to disrupt the relationship.
But these thoughts can sometimes transform into a persistent fear of your partner leaving you.
This anxiety can become problematic when you adjust your behavior in order to secure their continued affection.
For example, you might:
- avoid bringing up issues, such as frequent lateness, that are important to you in a relationship
- ignore when your partner does things that bother you, such as wearing shoes inside your house
- worry a lot about them getting mad at you, even if they dont seem angry
The Myth Of The Perfect Partner
Constantly wondering if theres someone else out there better for you than the person you found is incredibly detrimental. News flash: Your perfect match does not exist. Esther Perel, relationship therapist , adamantly repeats this fact to her clients. This means that neither you nor your partner can ever expect to handle every situation ideally or rationally. It also means when youve found a great thing, dont worry about greener grass in some other yard.
Different Ways Relationship Anxiety Presents Itself
Here are some ways to tell that anxiety is manifesting itself in your relationship:
- Wondering if your partner truly has feelings for you
- Looking for constant reassurance from your partner
- Holding doubts about romantic compatibility
- Over-analyzing simple words and actions for signs of trouble
- Constantly feeling like your partner intends to call off the relationship
- Spending more time worrying about the relationship than enjoying it
In other cases, relationship anxiety may take the form of deliberately sabotaging things with your partner. This can be seen where slight issues are blown out of proportion or where traps are laid for your partner to test fidelity.
It may also appear in instances where you purposely stay aloof and guarded with your partner, all to steel yourself against hurt and pre-empt difficulties.
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Why Do We Get So Anxious About Relationships
7 min read
From past relationships to attachment styles, read on for the possible reasons behind your relationship anxiety, and borrow these tips to be happier in a relationship.
You are in a healthy relationship with someone you love and trust completely, and it is smooth sailing apart from a few fights here and there. Yet you cannot stop overthinking and constantly questioning everything about your partner and your relationship. Does this seem familiar?
Everyone experiences some level of anxiety about their relationship, and this is entirely normal. In the early stages of your relationship, you might be wondering, Do they really like me? or What do they see in me? or How serious is this? or Is this going too fast? In the later stages, these worries can take the form of questioning your partners expressions of love, worrying if they are truly the one for you, if they are losing interest, or if the relationship is progressing too fast.
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What Causes Relationship Anxiety?
Your past relationships
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You are scared of intimacy
You are uncertain about the future of the relationship
You are going through a turbulent phase in life
You are bad at conflict resolution
Your idea of a perfect relationship
Long Distance Relationship Sucks How To Cope With Anxiety In An Ldr
Mental health issues and works of activism to remove the stigma surrounding them are in the forefront of todays media. As a person who has struggled with anxiety for really as long as I can remember, thats a good thing! Ive also been in a long-distance relationship for a little more than a year. Its tough, but its doable.
In my opinion, the thing with long-distance relationships is that they have the same issues as normal relationships everything just has a bigger effect. This includes anxiety. Whether its you or your partner whos dealing with this problem, Im going to try and provide my insights into managing it and not letting it have a negative effect on your relationship.
All of this being said, Id like to point out that these are things that work for me and for my relationship. The thing about anxiety is that it has a different effect on everyone, so use this more as a guideline and tweak my suggestions to work for you. Here is how I cope with anxiety in a long-distance relationship.
When You Have Anxiety
Ill start this off by saying, ugh , I know it sucks. You have all of my empathy in the world, and I truly understand how youre feeling. Whether youve just realized that you have an anxiety problem or youve been dealing with it for years, whether youre undiagnosed, or youve been seeing doctors and therapists youre whole life, it all just sucks.
When Your Partner Has Anxiety
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Theyll Hate Themselves For The Moments They Fall Apart But Youll See Their Vulnerability As Something Beautiful
When you begin to date someone with anxiety what youll learn is the root of all of their worries comes down to caring.
As much as they are cautious and dont want to get hurt, they dont want to hurt others either. So they build others up as best they can.
The truth is there isnt anyone who will love you deeper, there isnt anyone who will remind you more how much you mean to them.
They will come bearing compliments youve heard too many times but youll see an honesty and a genuine nature to people with anxiety.
In return for your acceptance of this thing they try to painfully control, comes an unconditional love that makes you whole.
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Ask Yourself Is The Relationship Worth It
Behavior psychologist Wendy M. Yoder, PhD, encourages people to start alleviating relationship anxiety by leveling with themselves honestly. Is the relationship worth it? This is not an easy question or one to take lightly. But, at the end of the day, is this person right for you? Keep in mind, as Esther Perel tells us, there is no perfect partner. Humans are imperfect and thats OK! The question isnt, Are they perfect? The question is, Are we good for each other?Pro tip: If you dont know the answer to that question , start with small steps. Try some of the tactics listed below. As you progress, whether or not this is the person for you will become much clearer.
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Anxiety Breaks Down Trust And Connection
Anxiety causes fear or worry that can make you less aware of your true needs in a given moment. It can also make you less attuned to the needs of your partner. If youre worried about what could be happening, its difficult to pay attention to what is happening. When you feel overwhelmed, your partner may feel as though you arent present.
so train your brain to live in the moment. If you notice a fear or concern that causes your thoughts to stray from the facts or the present moment, pause and think about what you know . Calm down before you act. You can make purposeful steps to build trust in your partner. Share openly when youre feeling worried, and consciously reach out to your partner when you might normally withdraw or attack in fear.
Youre A Skeptical Person
If youre a skeptical person, youll naturally be more inclined to question everything because you like to consider several possible explanations for behavior or outcomes to a decision.
Here we have to note that even though a certain amount of skepticism is healthy because it helps you develop your critical thinking skills and leads to better decision-making, it can also be a sign of anxiety or a consequence of being under a lot of stress for an extended period of time.
If you tend to overthink everything you do and you often find yourself feeling paralyzed because of it, it might be better to talk to a psychotherapist about it so they can help you determine the cause. If it turns out that its anxiety or stress, they can teach you coping strategies, and you can also try stress-relief products like the ones from Pure Hemp Farms.
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How To Cope With New Relationship Anxiety
At the beginning of a romantic relationship, youre usually very excited. You get butterflies in your stomach just thinking of all the possibilities. At the same time, that fluttering you feel turns into uneasiness. You dont know this person that well yet, and as much as you hope everything will turn out well, youre full of doubts doubts about them, about yourself, and about your future together.
Then you start to think that maybe theyre hiding something from you or that youll do something that will make them stop liking you. Were a social species, so of course, we feel this desire to be liked and accepted. And its hard to put yourself out there. Being vulnerable is uncomfortable. Thats why you start reading into everything they do. You want to know where you stand so you can feel secure again.
You might even try to test them by making plans for something several months in advance. Or maybe you stalk them on social media or fixate on minor differences thinking that theyre signs of incompatibility. In fact, all these behaviors are signs of new relationship anxiety.
Focus On The Present Moment And Not The What Ifs Of The Future
Sometimes when you enter into a new relationship, you might try protecting yourself from reliving past hurt by doubting yourself and doubting the intentions of your partner. Instead of trying to prevent history from repeating itself, Silva suggests empowering yourself by “experiencing the relationship from a strengths perspective.”
In other words, hone in on how this new bond enhances your life in the present moment. When you’re focused on everything you’re not getting from your new partner, it can be easy to get consumed by anxiety, longing, and frustration. But maintaining a practice of focusing on all the good stuff the new relationship is adding to your life can help dispel that negative energy and allow you to enjoy the rideunknowns and all.
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How Relationship Anxiety Affects You And Your Relationship
If relationship anxiety is not remedied, you might find that your anxious thoughts become more and more frequent. This can cause further anxiety, feelings of hopelessness and depression in the long run. Relationship anxiety may impact on your partner and relationship as well. It can result in you keeping your partner at arms length or even ending the relationship altogether. It can also be played out through being confrontational and controlling or passive and needy. Our behaviours impact on how others feel and therefore respond to us. In some cases, relationship anxiety can create a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby the behaviours that you display as a result of your fears, themselves cause the negative outcome that you feared.
If anxiety about your relationship becomes excessive, impacts on your relationship or affects your quality of life then it might be time to do something about it.
Shifting Your Mental State To Relieve Stress
Anxiety causes stress because we instinctively perceive it as a problem, nothing more. This evokes anger and fear.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Carol Kershaw recommended couples try to shift their mindset regarding anxiety. Rather than seeing it only as a source of stress, they can develop a curiosity about it. Trying to understand the anxiety makes it more difficult to become angry about it.
Curiosity can turn off worry and anxiety, Kershaw said. You cant feel two at once.
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Trying To Dig Or Read Between The Lines Of What They Say
Are you constantly second-guessing or overthinking what your partner tells you? Do you feel like theyre lying or withholding something important from you? Do you struggle to really give them the benefit of the doubt?
Even in the healthiest relationships, there is no such thing as perfect communication. But a solid relationship requires a sense of mutual respect and trust- you should want to assume that your partner has your best interest at heart.
How To Support Your Partner
Theres a difference between providing support and becoming your partners unpaid, unofficial therapist. A therapist isnt going to hold your partner while they cry or take them out for something to help relieve the anxiety.
These activities make him feel loved and secure, and that helps with his anxiety, she said.
Her story shows it is possible to have a loving and long-term relationship when dating someone with anxiety. Here are some other ways you can support your partner:
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Symptoms Of Adult Separation Anxiety
In the discussion of adult separation anxiety, again, due to lack of concrete diagnostic criteria, many look to the symptoms of separation anxiety in children as a way to gain understanding. In children, symptoms of separation anxiety include:
- Distress when attached to a specific figure or figures.
- Excessive worry about losing these figures.
- Anxious, “worst case scenario” thinking about separation.
- Trouble sleeping when away from a specific person.
- Physical complaints when separation appears imminent.
One might also add the belief that the person cannot live without another person, or that their quality of life will suffer dramatically.
Because adult brains are far more developed than the brains of children, it is likely adult separation anxiety will reveal itself in different ways. Nevertheless, severe distress at the thought of being without someone is very probable to be a central sign of ASA, and some variation of the above list would likely fit into any diagnostic criteria.
How To Stop Your Anxiety From Screwing Up A Great Relationship
When youre dating, anxiety is the ultimate third wheel: You overanalyze everything you say on dates that is, the ones you actually go on and dont cancel at the last minute.
It doesnt necessarily get easier when youve gotten past the dating phase and are ready to get serious: You want to commit, but worry that your anxiety might sabotage an otherwise great relationship.
It doesnt have to, though. Below, therapists share six ways to keep your anxiety in check during the beginning of a relationship and as it progresses.
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